It would seem unlikely that words would fail at a festival for writing, yet the festival boldly went there during the full-scale non-fiction radio feature production entitled The Radio Hour . With host Jaye Kranz at the helm, writers, radio producers and musicians came together to tell stories on the theme of “When Words Fail”.
Set up with a live studio audience, and plan to broadcast the show on 360 Documentaries on ABC Radio National, we settled into seats at the Iwaki Auditorium, with a multitude of microphones, instruments, and equipment waiting patiently before us.
You could feel like you were in the room for something ‘cool’, and I guess the ‘coolness’ of it reflected in the fact that it was sold out! For those who did snag a ticket, we were about to become absorbed in stories about pirates, mobsters, supermarkets, tomorrow and a fateful personal backstory about one man’s experience of World War Two.
Accompanied by the First Chorus Band of Singers – the choir ooed and aahed in all the appropriate places – a rather lovely addition to the musical soundscape of the evening.
To begin the show, Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo told a poignant tale of life as a bagger of groceries at a supermarket in the USA, and the challenges and language barriers that face a migrant. Emily Richmond followed with a gripping story as a solo sailor on the high seas. Benjamen Walker followed with a rather sad story of his father’s almost obsession with ‘tomorrow’ and what that might entail. Claudia Taranto also shared a personal story.
The evening concluded in kick-arse style – with John Safran coming out on stage demonstrating his best martial arts skills. Not for any particular reason relating to fitness, but more so a requirement of the job of being in the business of writing crime stories. After all, when some seriously bad dudes are out to get you, it’s one situation where the pen is not mightier than the sword!
Digital Reporters is run in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival.